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07-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #31
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LOL..... that's what my focus point was on before and people suggested that I change it to spot focus...????

07-12-2013, 05:49 PM   #32
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A new try with the provided suggestions.... still a no go...

Ok...so let's try this again.... I changed the AF to C and pointed the camera at the man, held the button down to focus, once focused moved the center point between them and this is the result.... still not great....

Also, I had to add fill light to these even though I used a flash.... I realize that it's in the shade and I should have upped the ISO, but when using a flash 6 feet away....shouldn't it be light enough???? What setting should the flash be on for general use?
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07-12-2013, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #33
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Ok, that's better... but you still have a bit of confusion.
The AF.S and AF.C are indicating how the camera is focusing. The spot or multi-point focusing is telling where to focus. Leave your camera on AF.S.
It's easiest just to use the center spot focusing. Point the camera at the center of whatever it is you want in focus. You can then hold down the shutter halfway, reframe, and shoot. So, in this pic, focus the center of the camera on the girl's eyes by holding the shutter halfway down until you get the green indicator in the viewfinder. Hold the shutter halfway down. Then move the camera to get both of them in the pic and push the shutter the rest of the way down.
07-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #34
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Ok....I changed it back to AF.S, pointed it at the girl's eyes, held the shutter button down half way and when focused I kept the button pushed half way then recomposed to center and took the picture this time around. it's better again, but still not quite right....I also changed it to f7.1 for wider focusing (should I have kept it at 5.6 ?) ISO up to 400 and used the flash again. Interestingly enough, I pointed it at the girl, but the man looks more in focus....the light is better though.
Any more thoughts?

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07-12-2013, 07:39 PM   #35
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I think you have it! It's a little hard to tell without seeing the full-size pic. You also do have a challenging composition here for autofocus to try to figure out with all that light in the background, subjects darker, using flash...
f7.1 does give you more depth of field (DOF), and the speed at 1/160 is fast enough to eliminate any motion. Try taking a pic of something well-lit where you don't need flash. I'm guessing you'll be fine.
At some point you start running into dissatisfaction w/ the lens. I kind of felt the one you do when I started w/ the K-x and the kit 18-55. The 18-250 you are using is a really versatile lens, but don't expect super sharpness like you would get with a prime. Good luck!
07-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #36
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I hate to keep throwing more focus stuff at you. But if you use Live View on the Kx. you can move the AF point directly to the girls eyes. without having to re-compose the shot. It would be interesting to see just how sharp the lens is with the AF point being actually locked on the face and not moving the camera back.


If you have a chance... Hit the LV button on the back of the Kx... your focus point will be a little box in the center that you can move with the L / R UP / Down controls. Move the focus point to her eyes and shoot the shot. See if that is better. If you have a tripod, even better.
07-13-2013, 07:11 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
That's possible because I would have put the focus point in the middle of the two of them.... but how would I get "both" boys in focus without putting the center focus between them? Please pardon my inexperience....that's why I'm here! LOL.
Hi Hope-
As suggested either use select focus where you can manually change where in the frame the camera should use as a focus point, or using center focus, point at the subject, focus and while holding the shutter button at the half-way point, recompose the picture in your viewfinder then take the picture.

Also, have you tested the camera for back focus as suggested several times? It will take less than a half-hour of your time. Then you will know whether to blame the camera/lens or the photographer. Not to be harsh, but unless you run that test, you are wasting both your time and the time of people trying to help you. I recognize you may not have the technical skills to correct front/back focus on your K-x (if it exists), but you certainly do have the skills to run the test.
07-13-2013, 01:54 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Hi Hope-
As suggested either use select focus where you can manually change where in the frame the camera should use as a focus point, or using center focus, point at the subject, focus and while holding the shutter button at the half-way point, recompose the picture in your viewfinder then take the picture.

Also, have you tested the camera for back focus as suggested several times? It will take less than a half-hour of your time. Then you will know whether to blame the camera/lens or the photographer. Not to be harsh, but unless you run that test, you are wasting both your time and the time of people trying to help you. I recognize you may not have the technical skills to correct front/back focus on your K-x (if it exists), but you certainly do have the skills to run the test.
Ok....So i ran the focus test several times. I first printed it on regular paper, but it kinda bowed in the middle and my results showed front focusing so I tried laying it flat and couldn't get the angle quite right with my tripod so I finally reprinted it on cardstock, used the tripod and the timer, and did the test twice that way. The first time it showed a little front focus around the 6mm range on the left side of the chart but not the right side..(in all of my tests, it show more front focusing on the left side of the chart than the right. Strange....) Then trying to get it exactly centered, I did the test again trying to make sure everything was as aligned as I could get it. The last time using cardstock, a timer, and a tripod, the results showed pretty close to focused although even the "in focus" area could have been "more" in focus. So it appears that it is definitely operator error which is good news because that means that I can be taught and eventually get it right. :-)

With that in mind, I went out again and used the live focus per the above suggestion and it was set to use the face detect so I left it on. It detected both faces, but once again the main face is more in focus that the secondary face. When taking a picture of two people, I would really like BOTH of their faces to be in focus. I have two kids and I'd eventually like to use the self timer to take a family portrait of the 4 of us.

When using the live focus and moving the box, I will still only be able to select 1 face as the main focus correct? (I have not done this yet but will later when I get two people again.) Do I put the box on one face and take the picture or try to put it inbetween them? But then with the spot focus, it will focus between them which is apparently what happened in on of the above photos. If I can only put the box on one person either by positioning it in live mode or centering and recomposing in the viewfinder, am I always going to have one slightly out of focus?

I did do another test where I had my husband put his arm around my daughter and hug her so there heads were touching and that there was no light coming "between" them and using a f4.5 that one turned out quite well although my husband was in slightly better focus than my daughter. But in a lot of real life situations, people won't want to be that close to one another while getting their picture taken.

Could it be some type of setting that the previous owner had selected somewhere "deeper" in the controls that is causing this? One of these nights I"m going to go out in a controlled lighting setting against a building or barn and stage some shots to see how those work, but I'd really like to learn also how to take these snap shot type everyday photos also as there is a lot of times life is happening around us and that is the important thing at the moment. A picture is a reminder of the good time we had. I've tried doing some one-on-one shots of the kids with hit and miss results. I tend to get better results with only one person in the shot but once again, I often want two or even three in the shot.

I have access to an older K100D and I think I'll grab it and take it out and see how it does in the same situation. That might give me some info also....anything else to try when I go out again? My subjects are getting grumpy. LOL.

07-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #39
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If both faces are EXACTLY the same distance from the lens, but only one face is in focus, a bad lens is suspect. Otherwise, it means the aperture is too far open and you need to stop down to a smaller aperture (bigger number) to increase your depth of field.
07-13-2013, 08:47 PM   #40
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She is near F7 last I remember. That should be plenty to keep both faces in focus.

Hope... LV focus.. put the little box on the face on the right... click the shot and post it. Do you have other AF lenses?

Looking forward to seeing how the K100d does.
07-15-2013, 04:17 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billy Joe Quote
She is near F7 last I remember. That should be plenty to keep both faces in focus.

Hope... LV focus.. put the little box on the face on the right... click the shot and post it. Do you have other AF lenses?

Looking forward to seeing how the K100d does.
Ok....let's try this again.... I have attached 3 photos.... 2 taken with the same lens (18-250) on 2 different cameras the kx and the k100d and then a third photo taken with the k-x and the kit 18-55 lens. I used the live view function, turned off the face detect and changed it to contrast AF, and focused all these photos on the girl by moving the box to her face. The ISO is different on the K100D because I couldn't figure out "how" to set that while they were sitting there as I haven't used that camera before and it didn't work just like the K-x so sorry that one is a little darker...the fstop is 6.7 also because it didn't go to 7.1 so I used the closest stop it would go to which could make it a little sharper but I'm not sure.... Would it make that much of a difference as that picture does appear to be a little sharper. So is something wrong with the k-x?

I have spent hours pouring over photos on flickr looking at settings for this camera and watching what lenses people use, but the majority of photos posted aren't of people so it makes it hard to figure out. I can't seem to figure out if it is completely operator error or if I bought the wrong camera or if their is something wrong with my camera or lens. My SX30IS on av mode would have no trouble with this photo but I was really trying to improve my skills and advance by upgrading to a DSLR but it's not for the faint of heart! LOL Any more thoughts????? Thank you so much for taking your time to help!!!! I really do appreciate your insights and hopefully I'll get there.

(I also went to the library and got the book "Understanding Exposure" that was recommended and started reading it a couple nights ago too so hopefully that will help.)

How long did it take you to get comfortable with the camera and how it works when you had your first DSLR? These pictures are better once again so I'm hoping I'll eventually get there! On the bright side, I learned a good lesson on spot focusing and some fun results of how it worked. :-)
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07-15-2013, 04:25 PM   #42
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From the pics you've posted, I'm thinking that you have got it down! I don't know that you can any better w/ the lens you are using.
It does take awhile to get comfortable with the camera and to learn the strengths and limitations of each lens, but look at the progress you've already made!
07-15-2013, 06:54 PM   #43
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I bought my first SLR in 1976, and was still learning after 30+ years of shooting. I used digital P&S cameras for nearly 10 years before I received my K-r (very similar to the K-x). It was the better part of a year before I was 'comfortable'. I have upgraded to a K-30 (liked my K-r, love the K-30), but would still be completely floundering without the time using the K-r (and all that time doing analog photography) .... at this point I'm comfortable about making the basic shot and looking forward to improving my skills. I figure another 30 years should do it.

Here is a very patient model ready to help you apply your growing knowledge about exposure....
CameraSim simulates a digital SLR camera - SLR Photography Demystified
07-15-2013, 09:58 PM   #44
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By Jove, I think you are getting it down...

Hope going back to your first comment... You want to learn to take prof photos of your kids. That is the very reason I got my first Dslr.

Read the understanding exposure book... as you get more acquainted with the settings on the camera and how the Aperture/shutterspeed/ISO's all play together (the book will help a lot)

But in the end, to get those kinds of shots of your kids I think you are talking about, you will need a fast, prime lens. When you have dialed in the camera, and are ready for the lens... we will be hear ready to confuse you some more... haha

I took these snaps of my daughters today in the backyard. hardly pro, but probably inline with what you want to shoot with your family... get comfortable with the camera, and then it is all about the lens really.




Last edited by Billy Joe; 07-16-2013 at 09:04 AM.
07-16-2013, 04:38 AM   #45
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I'm a little concerned about one subject being in focus, the other not, with pretty small apertures. There's one more lens test I would recommend besides AF accuracy. Shoot a newspaper or brick wall, with wide open aperture, to check that you don't have a decentered lens. Blur in the corners should be equal, not bad one side, good on the other.

I'm glad to hear you bought Understanding Exposure. Not only is this book a great learning tool, it is a lot of fun if you do the suggested exercises. When you're doing the exercises, there's just one thing to remember about depth of field. He's using a full-frame camera, you have a 1.5X crop camera. For comparable DOF, you need to increase apertures by one stop. When he says to shoot something at f/22 for example, you would use f/16. When he says to use f2.8, you would need f2.0 for the same effect. Other than that, everything remains the same.
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